Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has retained rookie Christian Lundgaard on a new multi-year contract extension, beginning in the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series season.
The 21-year-old Lundgaard from Hedensted, Denmark, is currently embarking in his maiden season in the IndyCar circuit, where he achieved his maiden podium after finishing in second place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in late July. He also achieved his maiden start in the top three after posting the third-fastest qualifying time during the previous IndyCar event at Nashville Street Circuit in early August.
To go along with a total of six top-10 results through the first 14-scheduled events and despite being ranked in 15th place in the drivers’ standings, he currently leads the IndyCar Rookie-of-the-Year standings with 272 points, where he is 41 points ahead of David Malukas and 91 ahead of Callum Ilott.
“I have to say a big thanks to [team co-owners] Bobby [Rahal], David [Letterman] and Mike [Lanigan] for giving me this opportunity to extend my time with the team,” Lundgaard said. “We’ve had some good results lately, and I’m sure this has also helped their decision. First of all, I’m just happy and super excited that they gave me this opportunity. A year ago at the [Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course], we qualified well [fourth] and they decided that they wanted me for a full season [in 2022]. We’ve made the most of the opportunity so far. I’m sure there are times when we could have performed better but now we have the opportunity to continue this progress.”
“We’ve been to a lot of tracks so far and have come back to some and finished on the podium, which I hope to continue,” Lundgaard added. “Qualifying third in Nashville was a big milestone for me. Making the Fast Six – and not being at the end of the Fast Six but actually having a shot at competing for the pole – was a great experience for me. We didn’t quite finish where we wanted [eighth] but it was good to have that experience and now everyone is making the most of it. I’m happy for everyone at the team, my family and the sponsors and investors, everyone that has made this possible. I’m looking forward to continuing to build momentum.”
Prior to this season, Lundgaard made his IndyCar debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in August 2021, where he qualified fourth and finished 12th while competing for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. His transition to full-time IndyCar competition occurred following an extensive racing background that commenced with karting before winning the 2017 SMP F4 and F4 Spanish Championships. He went on to compete in Formula 3 in 2019 before spending the following two seasons in Formula 2 for ART Grand Prix, where he accumulated two victories and a best points result of seventh place in 2020.
“I am so pleased with Christian’s progress with the team and within the series,” Bobby Rahal said. “He has shown that he can be a force to be reckoned with in these races. He works well within the team, and we are pleased that we are continuing for the next several years because I believe he will continue to improve and be a potential winner in the very near future.”
“Christian has done a great job acclimatizing to the variety of challenges and new experiences this season,” Mike Lanigan added. “His approach and professionalism continues to impress us and his performance, especially in the second half of the season, speaks volumes about his potential. We are very happy to have him as part of the team for the years ahead.”
With his plans for next season set, Lundgaard’s quest to capture the 2022 IndyCar Rookie-of-the-Year title continues through the final three events of the season, beginning this upcoming weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois, for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500. The event is scheduled to occur on Saturday, August 20, at 6 p.m. ET on USA Network.